On the Tunney Side of the Street- “Water – an essential to good health”

 After Further Review … “Hey Coach, can I get some water,” asked a player recently. “Water? We don’t drink water during practice,!” shout some coaches as they prepare their football teams in August for the upcoming season. I vividly recall my coaches not allowing water during practices.

The philosophy, then, was 1) water would make you lethargic; 2) physical contact could create vomiting; 3) and, denying water would ‘toughen you up’ for the rigors of the game. Water was a sign of weakness. I accepted that from coaches in those days; it was the way they were trained. They also believed that using weights (barbells, etc.) would make you muscle bound, thereby limiting flexibility.

Much has changed. We now know that “weight training” – done under supervision – can be most useful in developing muscle strength. This is not to say that “push -ups” and “sit-ups” don’t do the job, but technology and equipment have progressed. Being part of the PRECOR T.E.A.M., I learned that their equipment helps maintain a healthy cardio-vascular system, improves strength and flexibility, with an enlightening effect on wellness.

What we have learned in the last 2-3 decades is that physical training and conditioning improves preparation for a sport. First and foremost, a physical examination by a doctor trained in cardio conditioning is vital; not just for professional athletes and adults, but kids as well. Yes, kids, those 8-14 year-olds who look physically fit may have “hidden” issues that only a physical exam can reveal.

The death of Minnesota Vikings Korey Stringer in 2001, who died of multiple organ failure caused by heat stroke after collapsing during an August practice, certainly alerted the Stringer family to closely watch son, Kodie, now age 11 (5’9” and 240 pounds). Kodie’s mother, Kelci, is determined to make the past meaningful to her son, as well as for others.

The NFL, so mindful of the death of Korey Stringer, has alerted its teams, coaches, trainers and players of the value of hydration, i.e. water. The NFL must be a leading example to football programs in colleges, high school, Pop Warner, et al, about the value of water. Many non-athletes count on water for a healthy life style and often use it for weight control.

The warning here is for everyone who believes in exercise and physical conditioning: drink water frequently!

Will you take a lesson from those who didn’t?

Jim

#242


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